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Take a Closer Look

They may be stylish, but are oversized LCD panels worth the price? Here's the flat-out truth.

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This story appears in the November 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Oh yes, good looks are important. When you spend more than eight hours staring at something, it ought to be an LCD monitor. They're easy on the eyes, save space and energy, and are fairly affordable. But sometimes bigger is better. Seventeen- and 18-inch monitors come with a bit more sticker shock than 15-inchers, but also with a whole lot more. They pay off in comfort and productivity and are appropriate for graphics work, viewing legal-sized documents and Web design.

There's also something appealing about seeing your desktop coming through with a 17-inch LCD. We replaced our last year's model 15-inch flat panel with the $890 (all prices street) 17-inch Samsung SyncMaster 171P to write this story. Big difference. Literally. If you go from a traditional CRT to an LCD, it's even more stunning.

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